Old 08-10-2008   #1
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cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

I just put together my own 1 TB hard drive, a seagate in an enclosure, & I want to format it to fat 32 for cross platform compatability, I am running windows XP home edition service pack 2, windows only offers NTFS, I looked up how to do this online & found an article about a DOS command & formatting to fat 32 through this but it did not work, said volume was too big, after an attempt format for 2 hrs. Is there any way this can be done? or is fat 32 an obsolete format? I read about a free program called compuapps swiss knife, but it does not work either, it does not even "see" my drive should I just give up on fat 32 & hope if I have to plug this into a mac machine that I can have the mac owner get windows drivers to read & write to my NTFS drive? I dont like proprietary formats, it backs me into a corner & will make it harder to move my files around.

I also notice that the XP computer is seeing my external hard drive as a local disc G along with the internal local disc C, when I initialized it I had the usb plugged into the computers back usb ports, does this matter? I read it is better to have an external drive plugged into the back usb ports. will it be able to be read if I plug it into a newer vista machine?

Sossity

Last edited by Sossity; 09-10-2008 at 00:16.
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Old 09-10-2008   #2
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

NTFS is a superior filesystem to FAT32 in many ways, but if you need FAT32 for compatibility reasons, you could try formatting from the command line.

Let's assume the drive letter of your drive is S:

Open a Command Prompt (Start Menu => All Programs => Accessories)

Type the following command and press the Enter key:

FORMAT S: /FS:FAT32 /Q

I don't know if Windows will accept this for a 1 TB drive but it's worth a shot. If your drive letter is different, substitute S: with the relevant drive letter.
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Old 09-10-2008   #3
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

Since the 32 GB is an artificial limit introduced by MS, a 3rd party application like h2format is needed.

On Windows systems, NTFS is clearly the preferred format.
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Old 09-10-2008   #4
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

I had the exact same problem...I went to the Seagate site and got their conversion program 4free .. worked great first time when I formatted mine over
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Old 09-10-2008   #5
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

Go to the manufacturer’s web site and download their utility for the drive. I am sure that will do it for you.
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Old 09-10-2008   #6
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

Must type faster!
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Old 09-10-2008   #7
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

One should also remember the file size limit on FAT32. Sossity i noticed in a thread in our HD forum that you're seeking advice on putting together a system for video editing and in the future you want to use that setup for editing HD content. The FAT32 limit on file size could become a real problem when editing HD content, so i would think hard before formatting a 1TB drive with FAT32 and transferring a lot of data to that drive. You may regret formatting it to FAT32 later, if you intend to use this drive for storing HD content.
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Old 09-10-2008   #8
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

True, but you can always convert to NTFS if you're running a recent MS OS.

As for formatting:

gdisk 2 /del /all
gdisk 2 /for /q /v:NEW_VOLUME LABEL

Yeah, I still use Symantec's GDISK utility.
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Old 09-10-2008   #9
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Soul~ View Post
I had the exact same problem...I went to the Seagate site and got their conversion program 4free .. worked great first time when I formatted mine over
thanks for the tip, do you have a link I can click to find this? I found disc wizard & downloaded this. I could not find it

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Old 09-10-2008   #10
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrageMester View Post
NTFS is a superior filesystem to FAT32 in many ways, but if you need FAT32 for compatibility reasons, you could try formatting from the command line.

Let's assume the drive letter of your drive is S:

Open a Command Prompt (Start Menu => All Programs => Accessories)

Type the following command and press the Enter key:

FORMAT S: /FS:FAT32 /Q

I don't know if Windows will accept this for a 1 TB drive but it's worth a shot. If your drive letter is different, substitute S: with the relevant drive letter.
thanks but I tried this exact procedure & after 2 hrs got an error message; voulme too high for fat32
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Old 09-10-2008   #11
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

What other OS than Windows do you have in mind when you are talking about "cross platform compatability"? MacOSX can read NTFS out of the box (and write on NTFS volumes with third party software). Linux nowadays reliably supports both NTFS reading and writing.

Since you want to use this drive for video editing primarily, I guess it's the compatibility to MacOSX that is most important, due to Final Cut's substantial market share in the industry. But most who use a Mac in a professional environment these days usually have the appropriate software installed to handle NTFS partitions. There really is no point in using the outdated FAT32 filesystem.
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Old 09-10-2008   #12
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sossity View Post
thanks but I tried this exact procedure & after 2 hrs got an error message; voulme too high for fat32
That's what I expected. I am using either the old WinME machine of my wife or H2format published by the german computer magazine c't: http://www.heise.de/software/download/h2format/40825 (unfortunately in german only).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sossity View Post
I found disc wizard & downloaded this. I could not find it
See Chapter 11.2 of the manual: http://www.seagate.com/support/discwizard/dw_ug.en.pdf
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Old 09-10-2008   #13
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

thanks everyone for the tips I think I found a way, I downloaded a little program called fat 32 format, & ran this through windows command & it seemed to work, I checked it in windows explore, clicked on properties for local disc G, & showed up as fat32. This drive will be mostly for smaller files, a lot of photographs in tiff & jpg formats. I will have a separate drive dedicated to just movies files & projects which will be NTFS.

One other thing I noticed is that when I have my new drive running, there are 3 lights; 1; for power, 2; HDD; 3; fan; but only the power & fan lights are glowing all the time, the HDD does not, it has only glowed very fleetingly when I was running windows disc check for errors after I formatted it. Is there something wrong? does this matter? the HDD light goes on briefly when I 1st turn it on along with a windows ring recognizing it but then after that it goes off. windows does seem to see the drive, although only when I have it plugged into the back usb port, when in the front usb port, & I click on G windows does not seem to recognize it. It has showed up as healthy in disc management.

will windows vista be able to read & write to my fat 32 drive?

Sossity

Last edited by Sossity; 09-10-2008 at 22:58.
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Old 09-10-2008   #14
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

The HDD light is only on when there is disc activity (reading or writing) - this is normal.

Windows Vista can read/write on FAT32 formatted disks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sossity View Post
I downloaded a little program called fat 32 format...
Could you please post a link to help anyone else having the same problem?
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Old 09-10-2008   #15
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Re: cannot find a way to format my seagate 1 tb drive to fat 32

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrageMester View Post
The HDD light is only on when there is disc activity (reading or writing) - this is normal.

Windows Vista can read/write on FAT32 formatted disks.

Could you please post a link to help anyone else having the same problem?
it is fat 32 format in google, & www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/fat32format.htm, i am not sure how to post links
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